Every relationship requires sharing and trust. Our prospects and clients learn quickly that we listen carefully, have time for them and are intently interested in their story. We’re not intrusive, but we ask a lot of questions — not just about their finances, but also their family, career goals and aspirations. By doing this, we help determine what they’re looking for in an advisor and how we can best serve them.
We don’t assume prior investment or financial experience. Many of our clients are the beneficiaries of trusts that were created for them and are unfamiliar with, even unwary of, trust and advisory services. Therefore, prospect meetings and early client interactions are a combination of active listening and education.
For the majority of clients, our core team consists of a relationship manager/trust advisor and a portfolio manager. Either of us may quarterback the relationship, but we confer on all clients and lend our individual expertise as needed. The portfolio manager holds all the detailed investment discussions and monitors the investments. Our 20-member investment team reviews performance, determines asset allocation, and establishes strategies for all our clients throughout the Argent network.
As the client relationship develops, we provide solutions or develop proactive strategies using relevant expertise from within Argent and using outside advisors. We don’t provide legal, tax or accounting advice. Most of our clients already have their own resources for those needs, and if so, we integrate with these teams.
For clients who don’t have the existing advisory relationships they need, we’ll assist in establishing them. The two of us have been in this industry for about 25 years each and are involved in a number of professional organizations. So, we have strong relationships with seasoned experts in every discipline, including legal, insurance, tax, long-term care specialists, mortgage lenders and more.
We see the first year of every client or beneficiary relationship as a transitional period. For investments, we augment or adjust a client’s existing portfolio in order to best determine investment and spending needs, considering taxes, family dynamics, anticipated priorities and estate planning.
We focus on the long term and encourage our clients to be active participants in their planning. We discourage constantly monitoring the daily fluctuations of the stock market — Argent does that for them; we’re their “designated worriers.” During periods of market volatility, our clients are less concerned because we have them focused on long-term results.
We meet with clients regularly, though the exact frequency is often dictated by each person’s financial situation and personal preferences. We stay in regular contact and are often their first call before any major expenditure, such as a car purchase or planning a large gift.
For clients with more complex needs and busy schedules, we orchestrate long-term strategies at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm them. Argent partners with entrepreneurs with many priorities, such as maintaining a thriving business.
We adhere to a servant philosophy. We’re fiduciaries to our clients and feel a strong obligation to protect their best interests. We never burn bridges or discourage a client from fair comparisons, even if they are considering outside financial services. This philosophy extends to prospects who may never become clients. Our credibility is rooted in our transparency, integrity and expertise, which we never compromise.
Authenticity is important to us. We feel comfortable letting our clients see who we are in our personal lives, because a successful relationship is a two-way street. We truly enjoy the people we work with and the work we do, helping our clients maintain the financial security and peace of mind they deserve.